Whatever my day job, I keep returning to tutoring for the "psychological income" of supporting students in English, writing, French, Literature, and test prep. I am a graduate of Oberlin College (English) and Northeastern University (MBA) and have built a career on the business side of education, which has been a great way to stay current on teaching methods both virtual and in-class. My tutoring experience includes working with extended family members in middle school, for other tutoring companies, and as a helper in my children's classrooms over the years. I have seen the young people I tutor soar to new heights with a little bit of extra help that builds confidence and independence. Also, I have also been tutored myself so I know how it feels to sit on the other side of the desk!
Overall, my approach is based on dialogue and respect, lots of humor and out-of-the-box creativity (ask me about the most grammatical pop song ever written), and genuine engagement in student success. In my spare time I am hanging with my family, jamming on piano, renovating my home, and getting very good with Snapchat.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Oberlin College - Bachelor in Arts, English/French minor
Graduate Degree: Northeastern University - Unknown, Business
ACCUPLACER Arithmetic Prep
ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension Prep
High School Business
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I use materials I have collected over years of tutoring, as well as Internet resources.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I help a student stay motivated by keeping up the enthusiasm, gauging his or her energy level and knowing when to quit, and acknowledging positive progress.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has difficulty with a concept, we break it down into manageable bites and check for understanding every step of the way.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
For students struggling with reading comprehension, I take it very slowly. We go step by step to see where the issues are. If warranted, I might advise the student to ask their parents or teacher for more professional assistance.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
My best success strategies for the first sessions with a student are: listen to understand the student's learning style, make a plan of attack -- together-- for the work, and build rapport and trust.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
To get a student engaged, I might see if I can connect a student's interest with some aspect of the material, figure out how to make the material come to life, or talk through how to maximize what they do well with the material.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To ensure a student understands the material, I might ask him or her to teach it back to me. Also, I have an assessment or two the student can complete.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
To build a student's confidence in a subject, we will celebrate any "win" when the work is well done. If necessary, we will celebrate in small steps.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
To evaluate a student's needs, I will listen first to what the student believes is needed; I have some more objective assessments that reveal weaknesses as well.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I adapt my tutoring to student needs by understanding the learning style and adjusting for that. If more visual aids are needed, I will provide them; if more mnemonics are needed, I will create them, etc.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy focuses on creating an environment of positivity and respect, kindness, inspiration, and open-mindedness. I believe learning can be fun and very natural, even when the subject matter seems difficult to the student. My style includes humor, creativity, and a lot of listening.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I will listen to how the student identifies his or her weaknesses, ask for a description of learning style, and, if the student cannot articulate it, I will ask more questions. Together we will make a plan of attack for the work and dive in right away, even if it is just to assess what has to be done in a follow-up session.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
To help a student become an independent learner, I start by working closely, but step back in increments as the student takes the reins of the work.